Emotional Wellbeing

Life

Mental Health

Psychology

Ainsley Lawrence

Coping With Financial Stress in Retirement

Two senior citizens in a yellow flower field smile together

Image Source: Unsplash 

It can be an incredible feeling to reach the end of a long career and settle down for retirement. However, not everyone is able to retire with millions of dollars in the bank. Instead, you may need to budget to make ends meet. It can be frustrating and stressful if you let it, but that doesn’t need to be the case. You can live out your later years without anxiety or fear about how you’ll pay the bills. 

Here are some tips to handle your stress and make money during your retirement so you can truly enjoy your golden years.

Know You’re Not Alone

One of the things that most people stress out about is their finances, and that’s often the case regardless of age. It’s just a bit scary to know that you need a certain amount of money to live comfortably and realize that coming across those funds will not always be a guarantee. Studies have shown a relationship between financial worries and distress, and it can be more of an issue for folks who are unemployed or in lower-income households. Retired folks can often fall into those categories, so if you’re stressed, know it’s normal. 

Many people also worry because they fear that they don’t have an emergency fund or money set aside for the future. It’s a worry about the unknown. While it’s a concern for many, it can be worse if you’re older and you know that your health could one day be an issue or you could need additional support and be unable to get it.

Change Your Outlook

You can start to feel better by changing your outlook, which begins by doing something about your situation. If you have looming debts, start strategically paying them off. You could eliminate your smaller debts to get that sense of accomplishment when they’re out of the way. You could also demolish the credit cards with the highest interest rate, so you’re paying less overall. These are good approaches to help you get more sleep at night.  

If retirement is coming up, but you’re not there yet, you can help reduce the potential for anxiety and improve your financial wellness with proper planning. Start creating that emergency fund by automatically depositing a portion of your paycheck into a high-yield savings account. You can also create a budget or spending plan, so you know where all your money is going. Draw up that budget and stick to it until and after you retire.

How To Make And Save Money During Retirement

The other way to cope with stress and not worry about your finances so much is to find ways to save money to keep your nest egg secure. There are many ways to conserve your funds during retirement, including:

  • Downsizing your home so you pay a smaller mortgage or rent.
  • Moving to a state with a lower cost of living.
  • Eating right and exercising so you stay healthy and avoid costly doctor visits.
  • Using public transportation instead of the car.

If you still need to get around in your vehicle, try to save money by getting a good deal on your car insurance. The good news is that insurance companies are often excited to insure seniors because they know you have a lot of experience behind the wheel, so you know how to keep yourself and other drivers safe. Insurers may also consider providing a lower premium if you don’t drive often and your mileage remains low. Talk to your insurance broker or have a friend help you get quotes online to find the best deals.

While you’re saving, you also have the option to make extra money on the side, which can help reduce your financial burden and your stress. If you don’t want to drive for a delivery service or work retail, consider some fun retirement hobbies that can earn extra cash

There may be hobbies you already enjoy, like gardening. You could plant vegetables and sell them at a roadside stand or grow peppers and make your own brand of salsa. Similarly, if you love to cook, come up with some recipes and start a food truck. Perhaps you often spend hours in the garage working on crafts or woodworking. You could use those skills to start your own furniture restoration service on the side.

Maintain Mental Health In Later Years

Once you get a hold of your financial issues, you’ll likely start to feel better. However, if you’re still anxious, there are other ways to work on your mental health. First, realize it’s normal. There’s a higher risk for depression for older adults because, in addition to the money, there are other issues, like physical health and isolation, that plague many seniors. 

Sometimes, depression can come from feeling bored or believing that there’s nothing to look forward to, and if that’s the case, you may just need to try new experiences. They can include anything from learning a new skill to volunteering in your community. It’s also important to spend more time with family and talk to others who feel the same so you can lean on each other. 

If you feel like you can’t get a hold of your depression or financial stress, speak to a financial advisor or a therapist. Both experts can help you find a solution to your troubles.

It’s natural to have some financial anxiety when you’re no longer working and the bills still remain. However, by facing your issues head-on, you can create solutions and feel better during your much-deserved retirement.